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Data for: Costs of reproduction under experimental climate change across elevations in the perennial forb Boechera stricta

Citation

Anderson, Jill (2021), Data for: Costs of reproduction under experimental climate change across elevations in the perennial forb Boechera stricta, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1zcrjdfrf

Abstract

Investment in current reproduction can reduce future fitness by depleting resources needed for maintenance, particularly under environmental stress, and such trade-offs influence life history evolution. We tested whether climate change alters the future-fitness costs of current reproduction in a large-scale field experiment of Boechera stricta (Brassicaceae). Over six years, we simulated climate change along an elevational gradient in the Rocky Mountains through snow removal, which accelerates snowmelt and reduces soil water availability. Costs of reproduction were greatest in arid, lower elevations, where high initial reproductive effort depressed future fitness. At mid-elevations, initial reproduction augmented subsequent fitness in benign conditions, but pronounced costs emerged under snow removal. At high elevation, snow removal dampened these costs by prolonging the growing season. In most scenarios, failed reproduction in response to resource limitation depressed lifetime fecundity, and fruit abortion only benefited high-fitness individuals under benign conditions. We propose that climate change could shift life history trade-offs in an environment-dependent fashion, possibly favoring early reproduction and short lifespans in stressful conditions.

Methods

We collected the data in a long-term field study.

Usage Notes

We provide all data files and R scripts for analysis.

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1553408